Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 16 years
Badge # 312
Cause: Vehicle pursuit
Offender: Sentenced to 26-33 Years
Sergeant Michael Johnson was struck and killed by a vehicle after he put spike strips down on the highway to stop the vehicle being pursued by other officers.
Troopers from the Vermont State Police were chasing a suspect who fled from a traffic stop on I-91 in Thetford. Sergeant Johnson was located about five miles south of the initial traffic stop. After laying down the spike strips in the roadway, Sergeant Johnson parked his patrol car in the nearby crossover between the north and southbound lanes of I-91, near Exit 13.
As the suspect approached the spike strips, the suspect swerved into the median and through the crossover, striking Sergeant Johnson. The suspect's black colored Nissan stopped in the northbound lane of I-91 and he fled the scene on foot. He was apprehended in Pennsylvania two days later. Sergeant Johnson was transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire where he later died from his injuries.
The suspect was charged with second degree murder in connection with Sergeant Johnson's death but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. On September 15, 2004, he was sentenced to 26 to 33 years in prison.
Sergeant Johnson had served with the Vermont State Police for 16 years and was assigned to Troop B in Bradford. He is survived by his wife, two sons, and a daughter.